Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Season 9
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics.
The song is "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" My favorite version is by the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
Screencap from KEakaCK.

Maybe it’s much too early in the game
But I thought I’d ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

"What are you doing tomorrow night?"

Chloe Sullivan sighed, holding the cell phone against her ear with one hand as she typed with the other. She was finally back at the Daily Planet, the newspaper where she'd worked from eighteen until she'd been unjustly fired, and this time she was determined to make a mark on the world of journalism. She was pulling twelve-hour days on a regular basis.

She just did not have time for a social life right now. Which was lucky, because there wasn't a hint of one on the horizon.

"Working till eight or so," she answered. "Then I guess I'll go home, turn on the TV, and try to stay awake long enough to watch the star drop."

"Chlo..." She could hear the disapproval in his voice. "You're working too hard."

She kept typing. "I was out of journalism for a while, Clark. I need to prove myself."

"No, you don't. You're the best reporter below the sixteenth floor, and everyone knows it."

She smiled a little, warmed by his approbation. Clark worked at the Daily Planet too, as did her cousin Lois, so he was familiar with the work everyone turned out.

"Still," she said. "I have a lot of work to do. So how about you and Lois? What are you guys doing for New Year's Eve?"

He snorted. "You make it sound like we're dating."

"Not at all," she answered, even though yeah, that was exactly what she thought. "But you guys are on assignment together, so I figured you'd do something."

"I don't know. Lois wants to go out to a bar..."

"Oh, what a surprise."

He chuckled. "Throwing back a beer or two might be better than sitting in front of the TV waiting for the star to drop, Chlo."

"Maybe." She sighed, an involuntary sound of frustration, and then hoped like hell he hadn't heard her. "Well, whatever you guys do, I hope you have a good time. I'll be thinking about you."

"Yeah," his deep voice answered. "I'll be thinking about you too."

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year’s Eve

After she'd said goodbye to Clark, Chloe flipped the phone closed, and went back to typing. She'd recently been promoted upstairs, to the City desk on the tenth floor. Clark and Lois, on the other hand, were still working together in the basement. And that made sense, because she'd worked for the Planet longer than either of them, despite her involuntary sabbatical.

But it also meant that Clark spent more time with Lois than he spent with her.

Not that she was jealous. Not really. It was just that she and Clark had been friends for a long time, and she didn't like sharing him. She didn't like hearing him joke around with Lois instead of her. She didn't like seeing the two of them share lunches, or head out on assignment, or...

Oh, hell. She was totally jealous.

Get over it, she told herself. Clark had never seen her as a female, anyway. She'd always been his buddy, his BFF, his confidant, but never an object of desire. Clark had been obsessed with the lovely Lana Lang until about a year ago, but he'd finally gotten over her. And now he'd moved on to the next girl.

And since Chloe wasn't a girl, at least as far as he was concerned, he'd just skipped right over her.

She sighed again, and told herself it didn't matter. She didn't have time for a social life or a boyfriend right now. She was trying to prove herself, after all. Guys and twelve-hour days didn't mix. And besides, she didn't feel that way about Clark anyway. Lois was welcome to him.

She tried really, really hard to put Clark out of her mind, and went back to typing.

Maybe I’m crazy to suppose
I’d ever be the one you chose
Out of a thousand invitations
You’d receive

By eight-thirty the next evening, she was exactly where she'd told Clark she'd be-- in front of the television in her Metropolis apartment. She'd shed her power suit for sweatpants and an old high school t-shirt (red, with a fading Crows logo on the back and the words Smallville High School barely legible on the front). She'd decided to skip dinner and go straight for dessert, so she was eating Rocky Road ice cream out of the container as she watched the crowds in Times Square.

It looked crazy there. Crowded, cold, and loud. She switched channels and saw that LuthorCorp Plaza in Metropolis was the same way, swarming with people. Not that she'd had any trouble seeing that as she'd left the Daily Planet building, which faced the plaza. It had taken her quite some time to make her way through the tightly-packed crowds.

Crowds were no fun. She was better off in her nice quiet apartment, really.

She sighed again, and against her will, her mind drifted to Clark. He and Lois were in some medium-sized city-- she was pretty sure it was Columbus, Ohio, but it might be Fawcett City. Regardless, it wasn't New York or Metropolis. Still, she was sure they'd have fun together. If there was one good thing you could say about Lois, it was that she was fun. Prickly and temperamental and mouthy, sure, but she knew how to have a good time.

Unlike Chloe, who was more of the workaholic type. She tended to throw herself into work until she drowned in it.

And that was okay. It was just the way she was, the way she'd always been. She'd worked hard on the Torch in high school, putting in such long hours that she'd never quite gotten around to having a boyfriend.

She didn't mind being single all that much, at least not until New Year's or Valentine's Day rolled around.

She leaned her head back against her hot pink couch and closed her eyes. This was the one night of the year a girl could use a boyfriend. She thought that going out, walking the few blocks back to LuthorCorp Plaza, and fighting her way through the crowd so she could see the star drop might be fun, if she had a guy to share the experience with.

But she didn't, and there was no point in whining about it.

She opened her eyes and looked down, noticing that the entire pint of Rocky Road had disappeared. She rolled her eyes at herself, and got up to rinse out the container and toss it in the trash.

As she left the kitchen and walked back into the living room, she heard a knock at the door. Surprised, she turned toward it and pulled it open.

Clark stood there, smiling at her.

But in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

"Hey," he said.

Chloe blinked at him, bewildered. Of course Clark had superspeed, and traveling from Columbus or wherever he'd been to Metropolis wasn't much of an effort. Still, she'd figured he and Lois would be busy enjoying themselves. She hadn't expected to see him here.

"Hey," she answered cautiously. Cold air swirled in through the door, which opened directly onto the street, but she didn't notice. She was too busy staring. He was wearing a navy suit and blue-striped tie beneath a long dark coat, and he looked revoltingly gorgeous.

"Um..." he said. "It's kind of cold. Maybe you could let me in?"

"Oh. Sure." She stepped aside, and waved at him. "Come on in."

"Thanks," he said, and walked past her. She knew he didn't really get cold, but she did, and she was starting to shiver in the cold air from the door. She closed it, and turned to look at him.

"I thought you were on assignment."

He flashed his wry, self-deprecating grin. "Well, Columbus is only a few seconds away."

"At warp speed, I guess it is." She blinked at him. "What about Lois?"

"What about her?"

"Well, I thought you and she were going to... go to a bar, or something."

He shrugged a big shoulder. "Well, we got to talking this morning, and we realized neither of us really wanted to spend New Year's Eve together."

She blinked again, trying to make some sense of the fact that Clark had suddenly shown up on her doorstep. "But I thought the two of you..."

He frowned at her. "Why do you keep thinking we're dating? You know as well as anyone that Lois and I can't even have a conversation without fighting. If we started dating, we'd kill each other inside of a week. We're just friends, Chlo. A man and a woman can be friends without dating. You and I have been friends for eight years, you know."

She didn't really need a reminder about her status as BFF. "I just thought you guys were getting...closer," she said stiffly.

He nodded, his eyes serious. "We have been. I like Lois a lot better than I used to. She only gets on my last nerve about three times a week, instead of ten times a day. We're getting to be pretty good friends, Chlo. But friends is all we are."

"Oh," she said, and a weight she hadn't been aware of lifted off her chest.

"Anyway..." He shifted from one foot to the other, looking awkward. "Like I said, this morning we got to talking about who we really wanted to spend New Year's Eve with, and, well, it wasn't each other."

"Oh," she said again, because she couldn't think of anything else to say.

"It turned out that she really missed Ollie, so I called him and got him to fly in. She was really glad to see him. She and Ollie are going to be celebrating the New Year in some exotic location. I think they mentioned the Bahamas."

"That sounds nice," she said softly. "And you don't mind?"

"Mind?" He cocked his head in his typical expression of confusion. "I told you, Chlo, we're just friends. Just like you and I used to be."

"Used to be?" She bristled a bit. "Look, I know I've been busy lately, but we're still friends. Aren't we?"

"Yeah," he answered, taking a step toward her. "But not just friends."

His arms went around her, and he kissed her, a long kiss that was sweet and chaste, and yet made her toes curl. At last he lifted his head, and she looked up at him, befuddled. He stared into her eyes.

"This morning, when Lois and I were talking," he whispered, "I finally realized that you were the one I wanted to ring in the New Year with."

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year’s Eve

Once Clark had convinced her he really meant it, that he really wanted to spend the evening with her, she'd been happy enough to go out on the town with him. They'd spent most of the evening at the Ace of Clubs, which was having a New Year's party. Chloe happened to know it had been booked up weeks in advance, and she wasn't sure how Clark had scored reservations. She suspected Ollie had helped, but she decided not to ask.

She'd taken off the sweatpants and ratty t-shirt, and donned her nicest dress. Clark wore the dark suit he'd showed up in, and they'd drunk champagne and talked and laughed and even danced. He hadn't kissed her again, but there was an unmistakable heat in his eyes when he looked at her.

Around eleven forty-five they pulled on their coats and headed out into the crowds lining the streets. She knew they didn't have a chance in the world of seeing the star drop, or even of getting near LuthorCorp. It was too near midnight, and the crowds were just too thick. But at least they could count down with the crowd.

When they were still a block away from the plaza, he tugged her hand, trying to draw her down a dark alley. "This way."

She resisted the pressure of his big hand. "But the star's that way, in LuthorCorp Plaza."

"No kidding. I am familiar with the geography of Metropolis, you know. Come on."

Confused, she followed him down the alley. In a dark, secluded spot, he swept her up in his arms... and jumped.

Chloe yelped as they rose up in the air. She had the quick impression of a jolt, as if they'd landed on a building, but then they were jumping again. Three jumps later, they were on top of the Daily Planet building, the great golden globe slowly spinning over their heads.

She clung to his neck, shaking. It wasn't that she'd really thought he'd drop her, or fall, but... the roof of the Planet was really high. "Could you possibly give me a little warning next time?"

He laughed, putting her down. "But then I wouldn't get to see you looking all freaked out. That wouldn't be any fun."

She made a growling sound, annoyed at his amusement at her expense, and then turned toward the edge, peering cautiously over the railing. "It's really packed down there."

"It would be packed up here, if the Planet's management hadn't taken the precaution of locking the doors to the roof. As it is, we have the best seat in the house, all to ourselves."

She looked up, and saw the star glowing on the flagpole atop the LuthorCorp building. "Yeah," she agreed. "So we do."

"Now all we have to do is wait for the star to drop."

He stepped up next to her and put an arm around her, in a casual gesture of affection that made her eyes sting. She hesitated only a moment, then leaned her head on his shoulder.

The stood there in a peaceful silence, far above the muted roar of the crowd, watching the glowing star. At 11:59, it began to slide down, and the crowd started chanting a countdown.

At midnight, the star ended its descent. Clark tilted her face up and kissed her, another long, sweet kiss. She felt tears sting her eyes as she remembered his words: I finally realized that you were the one I wanted to ring in the New Year with.

Caught in the web of her own insecurities, she hadn't wanted to admit it to herself, but she knew that Clark was the person she'd most wanted to spend New Year's Eve with, too.

And here they were, with their arms around each other, welcoming in the new year, and maybe a new chapter in their lives as well.

"Happy New Year," he said softly.

"Happy New Year," she answered, clinging to him. "Kiss me again."

He grinned. "I was hoping you'd say that," he answered.

He bent his head to kiss her, the two of them sharing a quiet, intimate moment, while all of Metropolis celebrated below.

-The End-


Inked said...

Sappy? Romantic is more like it.

"revoltingly gorgeous" - LOL that he is

Thanks for the pick me up :D

blackheart_me said...

Excellent and wonderful New Years fic! I really love how you keep the Clois friendship here without me hating it, haha. I like that Chloe's back at the DP where she belongs and even though Clark and Lois are partners, I love how this ended. Wonderful fic Elly!!

angelbsb said...

awww elly that was wonderful .loved how clark wanted to spend new years with chloe , and got lois and ollie back toghther ,

Anonymous said...

Awww, this was so sweet. I've always loved that song. And Yea!! Columbus my hometown, awesomeness!!

Thanks Elly for another great story.

Anonymous said...

[quote]He was wearing a navy suit and blue-striped tie beneath a long dark coat, and he looked revoltingly gorgeous.

Loved that image!

Wonderful story, Elly!!!

-- Deborah

DeeDee said...

Another Elly Chlark fic...how I've missed them!

I am so, so glad Clark set Chloe straight about his relationship with Lois. And I am so pleased Chloe's a journalist again!

Thanks, Elly - loved it!


Anonymous said...

This was just great! Thanks!

I hope you're feeling better and that 2009 is a great year for you!


eternal-moonie said...

Elly! This fic was amazing! May you have a great 2009!

Barbara said...

Great story. Yes Clark is revoltingly gorgeous

Mariko said...

Loved it! I liked the Clois friendship and YAY LOLLIE. I think 2009 will be a banner year for Chlark and with this fic, you can say you called it, hee.

jamie nestor said...

Great new year eve story.What a wonderful way to start the new year with CK and Chloe. I enjoyed it immensely. You are such a treasure. Best wishes for a joyous,healthy and prosperous new year from your friends. Jamie Nestor

BloodSugar said...

That was so cute *anime heart eyes*
Seriously adorable. And lovely. Very romantic *goes to lala land where Chlark is the main theme*